April 17, 2014

Group says 16% of Iowans are “food insecure”

According to the U.S.D.A., 16% of Iowa families with children are considered food insecure. That’s despite living in an agricultural state. Angie Tagtow, with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, says only 2% of Iowa farms produce fruits and vegetables intended for direct human consumption and 80% of Iowans’ food comes from outside the state.

“I would propose that we need to look at food insecurity in this state a little differently and how can we put or grow healthy and safe food closer to our plates in Iowa and make all Iowans more food secure,” Tagtow said. Tagtow says policies that encourage home and urban gardening and shopping at farmer’s markets are a step in the right direction. She’s also calling for a change in the Women Infants and

Children food assistance program to provide cash vouchers for fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. Tagtow was a guest on the Iowa Public Radio program The Exchange.